Friday, November 29, 2013

A list.

Oh hey I didn't post for a week, sorry. Is this thing on? New since last time:

1. Purple hair (a different shade of purple): http://instagram.com/p/hSFli1Kd3X/

2. Thanks was (were) given! Did you have a good time yesterday, US-ians? We did a very early meal because my parents busted Grandpa out of the nursing home for the holiday and we needed to dine on old-folks' time. It was nice, but I think I should start contributing pie because it's the only way I can ensure that I have pie for breakfast the following day. Instead I made a kale salad, as I often do (Molly was not there to make fun of me for this), and invented a grain salad of barley, black eyed peas, braised brussels sprouts, roasted carrots, and dijon mustard vinaigrette. Thanksgiving is also my vegetarianniversary, so huzzah, I've been meat-free for 18 years now!

3. I intended to engage in no commerce today, except horrors, I am out of contact lens solution. I don't know how I let this happen, but it does mean I'm going to have to face the hordes at some point, like probably around 10 PM. Ugh.

4. I took a print to be professionally framed--a first for me. It's this one, by this guy:


I hope I made the right decision about matting and framing and I also wish I had a lot of money to spend on this kind of stuff so I could go somewhere proper instead of a craft store. Even more than that, I wish I knew how to frame stuff myself: it's something I would really like to learn to do, and I think I would be good at.

Anyway, this has been on my to-do list for a few months, so I get to cross it off, which is always good.

5. I had an interesting encounter with a new age-y young woman at the gas station this week. A whole series of boring little events arranged things so that we would be there at the same time, I have to admit--had all these boring little things not happened, I would have been there and gone before she even showed up, so make of that what you will. But I was putting air in my tires when she wandered over and said hi and told me she just had a feeling she was supposed to talk to me. This in itself is interesting because if I have a sign on my forehead it generally says "don't talk to me." And for whatever reason, I was up for some extended interaction with a stranger, and she didn't seem to be going anywhere, so I chatted with her. It probably helped that she appeared to be a non-threatening young woman. If it had been a dude, he would have had to be radiating an unreal amount of goodwill and benign sexual magnetism for me to talk to him.

Anyway, she told me that that particular gas station is at the intersection of some energy lines, and that she knew when she woke up this morning that she was supposed to go there. "Weird!" I exclaimed. "Have you been here before?" She hadn't, but friends had: "I just know that this is a place of freely giving and openly receiving." ("Well that just sounds like a sex thing," Emily said when I told her about it later.) There was a lot of stuff about vibrations and "what people would probably call magic," but we also had a deep little exchange about the fact that I teach singing, which is all about vibrations, and helping people be their authentic selves, which is frankly more interesting to me than music. I do feel like teaching voice just happens to be my medium, you know, and personal growth for the student is the actual objective.

I now have this stranger's phone number in my cell phone--she wanted me to drop by sometime and work with a friend of hers, who helps people be their more authentic selves too ("How," I wanted to know. "Well, mostly by Sight," she said, clearly capitalizing the word)--and I probably won't use it, but the whole thing was unusual enough for me that I felt like I should probably have a way to get in touch with her. Maybe she was just a very pleasant cult member, though.

6. I decided to do an audition next weekend, even though I'm totally out of shape right now. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Rosemary / remembrance.

We're doing another estate sale on Saturday, so I've been back at the grandparental ranch the last couple days, rearranging things and cleaning things up and finding new stuff to sell (want a vintage 50 X 50 projection screen from Sears? mint condish). My grandma was a Shaklee dealer and listen, there is SO MUCH Shaklee stuff still in the house, even though she's been gone three years and hadn't sold anything for several years before that. I threw out a lot of stale lipstick and fiber supplements when I was first going through the house, let's just put it that way. Even now there are still metering spray bottles for soil boosters and all manner of other organic gardening supplies. Do soil supplements go bad? For 25 cents you can find out.

My memories of the supplement-boosted life go way back: we would sprinkle protein powder on cereal and be plied with multi-vitamin syrup as kids, and when we were visiting my grandparents we would sneak down into the supply room--they ran the business out of the basement--and eat energy bars, which felt like candy to us, and probably cost my grandma a lot of money.

Anyway, yesterday I was emptying out the remaining stuff in the supply room--it had become a catch-all storage area in recent years--and pricing some giant tins for the sale, when I noticed that one of them wasn't empty. I pried the lid off. It was full of paper lunch bags, labeled in my grandma's handwriting--tarragon, basil, sage--and inside the bags were herbs grown in her garden and dried in her house ("don't throw out," she'd written on the bag of basil). I don't remember when she stopped gardening, but I'm sure they were from years and years ago. I can just picture her putting them away in the storage room and then forgetting about them. I crushed a little of each between my fingers, and they were still pungent, especially the sage. It was one of those estate-cleaning moments when you have to muster up all your ruthlessness, knowing that the herbs aren't as good or efficacious as something grown more recently, and that only sentimentality would cause you to hang on to them. I think the thing that made it most difficult is that Grandma's hand was in all of it: the growing, the harvesting, the drying, the labeling, the storing, the forgetting.

One of the last conversations I had with her, actually, on a day I went to sit with her while she lay in her hospital bed in the living room, was about some flowers that had been brought in from the garden. She couldn't remember what they were called, and I was no help, talking too loudly, enunciating too much. Maybe it was the stuff that just grows without any tending. I hope whoever moves into the house wants to bring the gardens back to life.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I like to move it, move it.

I think I broke my streak of sluggishness today, THANK GOODNESS. With most of the estate cleanup work behind me, and the darkness of winter descending, I've been feeling really inert. I make to-do lists and they pile up, and speaking of piles, there are always dishes in the sink, no matter how many I wash. Also, my face has launched some sort of rebellion, and I can't decide what to do with my hair: do I buzz it again, do I grow some glam-rock fronds in the back, do I let the top get long and do a Pink-Miley undercut? And until today, my summer clothes were still not completely put away, meaning I was living amongst rubbermaid tubs, and then piling more stuff on top of them. I'd stop short of saying I've been plagued by self-doubt but it's not that far off. I re-read The Writing Life and thought, not for the first time, that I don't have anywhere near the dedication required of an artist. I felt like a dilettante.

But this morning I worked up a head of steam and I washed the dishes, and scrubbed the sink, and hung a bulletin board that I liberated from my grandparents' place. I took the measurements of all the arty stuff that I need to frame, and emailed them to myself. I ate some foods besides granola. I sawed in thirds this cardboard quik-tube I bought for the cat to run through like 6 months ago--it has been standing up between my shelves, looking shitty and taking up space. The cat may not take to it, but that's beside the point. I cleaned all the cat toys out from under the stove. I took the greasy knobs off the stove and washed them. I vacuumed. I set my laundry ball in a sunny window to regenerate (is it bullshit? who knows, but I haven't used detergent much in the last two years). I went for a quick, extremely windy bike ride and showered. I bought the Groupon for that gym (sadly, the 6 month memberships had sold out, so I guess I'm just trying it for 2). I emailed a bunch of parents of former students to say HEY WHAT ABOUT TAKING SOME MORE VOICE LESSONS? and then I taught 5 lessons. I still don't feel like much of a musician right now but I'll get there.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Teevee

A friend of mine recently gave me her fancy cable channel password and I am now tempted never to leave the house again. Already I feel more pop-culturally literate, having finally watched GIRLS (verdict: I think it's great, I get why some people would hate it). And I started VEEP, and Enlightened, and I'm going to watch The Newsroom, and I might rewatch 6 Feet Under. I might even watch Sex and the City, a show I've never really grabbed onto. See what I mean? And it's about to be deep dark winter, so.

On the flip side, I'm thinking about joining one of those 24 hour a day gyms. There's one less than a mile from home, there's a Groupon, etc. I'm actually into the proximity more than the open all day thing, but who knows, I could turn into a midnight gym rat.

Totally unrelated to either of the above, I still don't feel like dating, and I think as a result I am wearing an invisibility cloak, albeit with purple hair and a bunch of eyeshadow, where dudes are concerned. If I feel like emerging from it I'll let you know.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I need to visit more states.

Here is a map of states I've been to. Since I haven't been to Hawaii or Alaska, those don't show up on the map.



Make your own map here. Choose
  • red for states where you've not spent much time or seen very much.
  • amber for states where you've at least slept and seen some sights.
  • blue for states you've spent a lot of time in or seen a fair amount of.
  • green for states you've spent a great deal of time in on multiple visits.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NaBloFailMo

Hi.

Someone should invent a cat toothbrush that you can attach to a cardboard box and then cats can just rub their little faces all over it and brush their own teeth, since they want to manically rub the edges of cardboard boxes anyway. I'm not going to invent it, I'm just putting it out there for you.

There is an insurance company in MN using the slogan "Live Fearless" and every time I'm subjected to one of their ads, I say "UGH" out loud. It's totally involuntary (and necessary).

As part of my ongoing effort to make Move Yer Ass a way of life, I'm working on establishing the habit I'm calling "Walkies!" when I write it on my calendar. Walkies! is a 25 minute loop from this lake over to the next one and back and I would like to do it every day, even the days I am running or biking or whatever it is I'm going to do when we're in the deep freeze, like possibly joining one of those 24 hour a day gyms because there's one less than a mile from here. It'll be me and some dudebros lifting weights at 11 PM.

I have no idea how I missed this post until just a few days ago, but here is an oral history of Wet Hot American Summer. Quoth Paul Rudd on his character: "You just try and have fun within those parameters of douchebaggery and bandanna-ism." You can thank me later. This movie is one of my classic texts and I own this print because of it (and also because the print is cool. I bought it at that gallery, even!).

Today the cat has been called Beastie, Beefsteak, Choplicker, Fluffbutt, Poo-face, Win Win Situation, and Sweetheart.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cat lady.

One of the weirdest things I do when I'm reading--as a single internet-dependent cat-lady living blissfully alone--is to occasionally break out into reading aloud in a generic, RP-type British accent. It's partly just for fun and partly to see if I can immediately get a plausible sound. I wouldn't normally confess something this stupid, except that every single time I do it, Winnie Cat gets up from wherever she is napping and comes over next to me, mewing a little. Just now I started reciting a Shakespeare sonnet in the kitchen and she did it again.

So obviously I'm going to be doing it more often.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Musique.

Hoo boy, this "post every day" thing is eluding me. Yesterday I even missed my daily personal writing, which is particularly painful because I'd been on a streak of writing every day for over a year.

But let us talk of happier things, such as music, because it's been a long time since I posted a string of youtube videos for you.

Epic. That is all.


Please don't try to deny this groove.


I can't endorse the creepiness of this video, but the song is ace and the whole album is really great, and quite diverse. I described one of the songs to my sister as "like if Natasha Khan was singing a Kate Bush song" and she said "that sounds basically tailor-made for you."


I'm about two years late on this and Tristen has released a new album just recently, but I don't like it nearly as much as the first, from which this track is drawn.


I've been all over this song for months. It has elements of Rufus Wainwright and Burt Bacharach and the voice is a little bit Edith Piaf and the whole effect is just right up my street.


Also, you should listen to Ainslie Wills and I'm linking to the track I can't get over, but the whole album is fantastic. It feels like Jeff Buckley to me, but without any of the 90s duderock elements.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Voices from the past

While I was cleaning out my grandparents' house, I came across two mystery records, with weeks and several rooms separating my discoveries. The first one was marked "Marty 1949" (Marty was my grandmother's nickname) in pen, and looked like any old 45. There were no clues as to what might be on it, and I put it aside to try listening to it at some point when I was near a functioning record player. The second one was stuffed inside the old 1970s Curtis Mathis console, along with a stack of children's 45s and some defunct 8-tracks. This one was in an old mailer that said "phonograph - do not bend" on it and said that it had been recorded at the San Diego Army and Navy YMCA. It was addressed to my grandpa's mother, in his handwriting, so it seemed pretty clear that he'd recorded himself and sent it to her. I couldn't make out the date on the postmark. Once I got the console fired up and found that it worked, more or less, I tried to play both records and found out they were 78s, so I had no way to listen to them.

I had them put on CD yesterday, though. A friend with whom I've kept in touch thanks to facebook--we all have so many of those now!--is a record hound and general fan of *media*, and he digitizes old recordings just for fun. He saw my post about the recordings and offered to transfer my grandparents' records for nothing, which was amazing, and I paid him in beer. I went over to his boho apartment, a 4th or 5th floor walkup in a former (very former) luxury hotel, nestled into a couch in a room filled with records and CDs and laserdiscs and scores and guitars and an old Nintendo, and got to hear these voices out of the past. Surprisingly, I did not burst into tears. But it was still an incredibly cool thing, to hear these young, high voices coming out of the speakers, talking blithely, just as if these wouldn't end up being their only audible artifacts of that era.

I put the recordings on soundcloud for the family to listen to, and I'm linking one here. Grandma took a Dale Carnegie class when she moved up to St Paul to work, and I'm guessing that's where this was recorded--they had to give little speeches, I think. The record had deteriorated some at the center, so we lose the end of the story, but I love that she talked about something borderline scandalous, or maybe that most people would keep hushed up, and talked so obliquely and tactfully about some of it, and then basically made a plug for daycare. Pretty cool.


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Other "problems" that scream "I'm a complete asshole"

1. Opening Bota Box just now was really hard
2. Cat chewed through cord of my white noise machine at 5:30 this morning, subjecting me to horrible peaceful silence
3. "Genius" at apple store had to take my lappo away for 5 days to do $900 worth of free repairs (why are $900 worth of things failing in the first year? discuss)
4. Lack of fine snacking cheese in the house
5. Beat the last level on Candy Crush, representing one million hours of my free time, and there are no more levels to play on mobile app
6. Fancy Sephora nail polish "system" received for free from most excellent friend/employee of aforementioned store is total bullshit, yielding manicure that took a long time, never dried properly, and then peeled off in sheets
7. Only harem pants that meet my rigorous specs are $178 at Eileen Fisher and out of my reach

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Slackin'.

Hilariously, I've already fallen down on the job here, but it's probably best if I keep your expectations very low, right? You know what else is hilarious? It's snowing right now. I finally switched out my wardrobe yesterday (after basically wearing the same "transitional" clothes for about two months) and--I don't know how to say this without sounding like an asshole--it really bummed me out. It bummed me out to pack up one extensive wardrobe and replace it with another, is what I mean by "sounding like an asshole"--talk about a made-up problem. But the truth is that I hate all my winter clothes except for like two skirts and a hoodie, which is not the reaction I was expecting--usually when people do the great wardrobe switchout it's like "yay, all these different clothes, and I didn't even go shopping!" So weep for me, basically, is what I'm saying.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Hey remember NaBloPoMo?

Yeah, me neither, which is why it's November 3 and you're just now hearing from me. I was musing at some point today, and not for the first time, that the long-form personal blog is dead, and that I seem to be spending my best material on Facebook, and I was wondering if blogs are going to come back around. NaBloPoMo did not even flit across my consciousness during this musing, but it did later, and now here I am, planning to titillate and bore in equal measure for as many days as possible this month.

Yesterday I ran an estate sale for the first and perhaps only time in my life. One thing I've been doing since I quit my job is a massive cleanout project at my grandparents' house--my grandma died 3 years ago and my grandpa has just recently, at 94, moved into a memory-care facility, so there was the house, packed full of the evidence of not just their life together and their own particular collecting habits, but also the remnants of the lives of their parents and those siblings that died without descendants. They had an unreal amount of stuff--every closet and drawer in the house was packed--and saved every receipt from every purchase and every manual from every appliance and on top of that, my grandma loved to go to thrift stores and buy tchotchkes or things she thought might be collectible and then bring them home and maybe set them in her china cabinets but more likely box them up and put them away in a closet with a masking tape label baroquely describing the contents.

So it was a big job, but I was the right person for it: I could be both ruthless and nostalgic, so that some days I would fill twenty trash bags and boxes with either junk to throw out or goods to donate to the same thrift store where Grandma did most of her shopping, and then other days I would be completely done in by all the photos or pop culture or family history I was unearthing, and I would just do a little work and then look through and instagram stuff all day long.

Also, I was newly underemployed and free as a bird. The project gave focus to my newly-unstructured days.

My mom and her siblings decided rather late in the game to do an estate sale and asked me to put it together. At that point I'd already gotten rid of a houseful of stuff, but there was still a houseful remaining. So I priced stuff and staged stuff and researched the value of all the glassware and the endless figurines and plates and lead crystal and my dad dealt with the giant, packed garage, and the family came over to help, and we let people in to wander through the house and buy things.

It went okay, but there is still a houseful of stuff left. We might need to have two or three more sales.

So that's what I've been doing with myself. It has been interesting, at this point in my life, to have a key to my grandparents' house, and to come and go as I please, to show up and help out and rehome things and clean and hang and look at stuff, when that is never the kind of relationship I've had with them--the drop-by, the let-yourself-in. They were always loving and supportive and showed up to all of our performances and games and we gathered for all of the holidays and birthdays, but the closeness that I have with my parents, or that my parents already have with my nephews and niece, just wasn't in the cards. But now I am free to wander, and to rifle through their stuff, and to decide what does and does not have value. And I am free to piece together the family history I didn't know from letters, and photographs, and scrapbooks, and receipts, and hospital records, and funeral programs.

It's put off the question of what exactly I am doing with my life, but there's time for that. Especially now that it's dark, and winter is coming.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

I made you a mixtape.

It's pretty good. This morning was cool and gray and moody after being hot as hayull yesterday, and it's going to be hot as hayull again tomorrow. So I was sitting around this morning luxuriating in not having to do anything, and feeling impending autumn, and here's what I wanted to listen to. You should be able to listen to it here even if you aren't a spotify user, or listen on the web.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Today so far.

Today I left work 2.5 hours early and rode my bike from work to the co-op, where I had the luxury of grocery shopping in the middle of the afternoon. Then I biked home in the blazing sun, loaded up with produce. I tried to stick to the shady side streets and ride slow. I took a cool shower. I sat on my couch and ate a big plate of beautiful Indian food, samosa patties and coconut curry vegetables and dal and mango mint chutney. I browsed online for cheap houses for sale in old neighborhoods even though my impending self-employment makes home ownership completely impossible right now--this is just where my brain is going these days. I played with my cat. I smiled at my little row of midcentury coffee/tea pots. I napped on the couch, with the lake breezes blowing through my windows and the leaf-dappled light playing across the room. Winnie sat in the front window and monitored the situation, defending the house against songbirds. When I woke up, it wasn't even 5:00 yet. It was brilliant.

Just now, I made myself a big Pimm's Cup with plenty of cucumber slices and I'm going to make a giant caprese salad later with some chocolate balsamic vinegar and maybe some steamed green beans. I'm going to re-dye my hair and watch at least 3 episodes of Orange is the New Black. If I feel like it, I'll clean up my living room and make a big to-do list, which I've taken to doing on large drawing pads with multicolored sharpies and lots of doodling. (This makes assessing my situation and crossing things off even more fun.)

Tomorrow morning I'm going to yoga if it kills me. Unless I decide not to.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I quit my job.

The title of the post is also the substance of the post. I quit my desk job, finally, after thinking about it forever, particularly over the last year. A combination of things made it the right time:

1. job things (obviously) that I won't discuss on my blog, even though I can't get dooced for them because I already quit
2. general financial solvency (though I suppose there is now that pesky matter of the new car loan), and
3. teaching and performing for a month at music camp, and having terrific colleagues, and basically feeling like a musician, and deciding that that is how I want to feel all the time, even when things aren't going well.

So I tendered my resignation while I was away, and my last day is coming up on August 30--which, for me, is a mere 10 working days from today. I don't actually have much of a plan, beyond my various forms of savings and an increased impulse toward student recruitment. Over the last year plus, I think I've mentally laid enough of the groundwork for this move to preclude anxiety about it. Huzzah! Hire me for stuff.

I also gave myself a buzz cut and dyed my hair purple, then sort of raspberry red, and now orange.


When your hair is this short, everything is so low-commitment it's like why NOT dye it some stupid color? If you hate it you just clip it off and start over. I guess that's my current mentality.

Speaking of current mentality: last weekend some friends and I played this new-agey personal discovery game called Transformation, where you set an intention for the game--some sort of question or problem that you want to work through--and then you go through physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels, getting setback cards and insight cards and pain cards and awareness cards to help guide your thinking about your question/intention. It's very woo-woo but as long as you're willing to yield to that, it's a useful framework for contemplation. Wine and snacks help.

My intention was about fully inhabiting my identity as a musician and the obstacles to same. In some ways I think my purpose in life is not necessarily bound to music itself, but to what music/the teaching of it imparts to people, or helps them to discover about themselves. Which is to say that if I were not a musician I would probably be doing something else that had the same type of impact--likely something arty. But I think that this knowledge about my purpose, along with the lack of cultural/economic value placed on artists in US society and whatever I've absorbed about that, has prevented me from dedicating myself to being an artist. I can tell myself I'm not ambitious and that might be true, and I can say that I've prioritized all kinds of important personal relationships in my life over work and that might also be true, but the fact is that I feel more like myself and tend to thrive when I am doing music, whether it is teaching it or learning/practicing it or performing it. That in itself is a reason to be more serious about it.

Anyway, all the awareness cards that I gained throughout the woo-woo game were all like PAPOW!!! Each card bears one descriptive word and mine were leaping up at me. Energy and vitality and vigor. Fitness and enthusiasm. Daring and risk-taking. Curiosity and inventiveness. Suppleness. Flair! These stood in contrast to the cards others were drawing (gentleness and relaxation and rest and such). Whatever fun-times persona I might present in this here infrequently updated blog, I am in real life not particularly any of those things I listed above, or at least not principally. I mean obviously I am SUPPLE. But truly, I am all about chilling out on the couch and keeping it very mellow the majority of the time. Enthusiasm is not my forte, even when something truly excites me. So trust me, I really did like that gift you got me. I am just not prone to squealing with delight, unless there is a baby animal involved.

But man, I love all of those awareness card words. Especially for this time in my life. In a little less than a month, I'm officially going to be pushing 40. Why not change the story now? There's a fine line between actual self-knowledge/gentle tolerance of your own foibles and just repeating the same perception of yourself to yourself so many times that it becomes a a deep groove impossible to climb out of.

Anyway, I think I'm just going to make a big sign that says PAPOW!!! to keep me motivated on all fronts once I'm done at this job.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bought me a car, my car pleased me, fed my car under yonder tree.

Last week I took care of the entire car-buying enterprise, from test-drives to loan finalizing to buying the ding-dang thing to driving around and showing it off to people. I got a copper red 2009 Mazda 3 hatchback and it is the cutest. I had written off the Mazda 3 as being generally more than I wanted to spend and not as good on gas as I wanted it to be. Then this one came up in the listings, way under blue book retail price, in an interesting color, and I remembered that I don't actually drive that much, like maybe 6000 miles a year, and that I've been admiring this car for over a year, and I called the dealership instantly. I, who will go out of the way to avoid placing phone calls. When I test-drove it, a heron flew overhead, which felt like a good omen, but really was probably just an indication that I am frequently next to heron habitats. 

Anyway, if you're thinking about buying a car and the FEEL of the car is important to you, I recommend test-driving early in the process instead of researching forever and THEN test driving, because it might help you eliminate some stuff. Like, if I'd driven a Kia Soul right after I started considering them, I would have stopped looking at them and bookmarking them. It was fine and fun but didn't feel like me. Similarly, the redesigned Focus hatchback is a beautiful car that felt completely alien once I was in it. And the Honda Fit, which I drove in a gorgeous midnight blue-violet color, bounced me around like corn in a popper (it was still my top contender next to the Mazda). All of this hands-on information would have been helpful and would have prevented me from spending so much time dicking around on auto websites.

But, here I am after all of it, with a delightful, sporty, speedy little machine that feels just exactly like me, something I have not experienced ever. Now all I have to work out is how to transport my bike on it when I am carrying too much crap to throw it in the back. This happens so very rarely as to make the expenditure of a roof or trailer rack a pretty dumb investment, but trunk racks aren't really made to deal with spoilers. Oh the dilemmas.

A week from today I'll be heading one state south to do the same music festival teaching gig I did last year, for a whole month, huzzah! I am so looking forward to mostly abandoning my desk job and just being a musician for awhile. Leaving my cat is the thing freaking me out most about the trip--not all the prep work I have yet to do (so much laundry and housecleaning), or the gigs on my schedule, or the music I have to learn for the festival itself, or all the lessons I have to fit in before then, etc. Just my kitty. We have such a nice little life, you know. I wish I could take her with me, but she's going to my folks' house, where hopefully she will be friendly enough to her temporary keepers, but won't become so accustomed to more space that she will never be content to live in a one bedroom apartment again. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Time to get ill. Apparently.

I had the delight of a super-long weekend to look forward to, so naturally I woke up Saturday feeling crappy and spent the entire day on the couch, watching Harry Potter movies and eating toast, with a wee break to go attend to some cat-sitting duties. Today is going to be much the same. The universe is obliging me, in a sense, by providing intense napping weather: cool, gray, rain threatening to fall. Imagine the insult added to injury if it were beautiful and sunny and warm outside, the way you want Memorial Day weekend to be! I've got two more days for my health to improve so I can at least enjoy a little bit of my time off, and get out and ride my bike or something.

Netflix is also obliging me by releasing Arrested Development today. Huzzah!

I took Winnie B to the vet on Friday--it was as good an excuse as any to bug out of work early--and I think I have to not go back to that vet. It's too dang far away and I probably passed 20 good vets on the way there. It's just the place that works with the rescue organization where I got Winnie, so they've seen her twice already AND see lots of stressed out cats and probably a wide variety of health conditions, and I find that reassuring. But my poor buddy was freaking out and panting in the car the whole way there and it's at least a half hour drive, and I don't want to do that to her again. Ugh. Anyway, I've been suspecting that my girl has asthma. I still suspect that, but the vet basically said that there's not enough to go on to make a diagnosis at this point or even to order a chest x-ray, that Winnie's lungs and heart sound fine (despite Winnie's strenuous objections to being towel-restrained and stethoscoped), which is good news, and that the random rapid breathing I've noticed has nothing to do with asthma and is probably just part of what's normal for this particular cat.

So, I don't know that I have any new information, but I am somewhat reassured, and at least feel like a better pet caretaker for having gone in. And Winnie rebounded from the experience within like 5 minutes of being home.



Somehow last week was incredibly long, despite having the long weekend ahead. Last weekend at this time, for example, I was recovering--and I do mean that--from my friend G's memorial service, and that seems incredible to me, that it was just a week ago that we all finally gathered to celebrate and mourn her. She died in mid-April, after electing to remove the PICC line that was providing all of her nutrition--she never did learn how to eat again after the esophageal cancer diagnosis of two years ago or so. It was a shitty way to go, a long decline flat on her back in a nursing home bed, holding onto every last one of her marbles in a place where most of the residents were older than her and dealing with varying degrees of dementia. I didn't visit her as often as I should have, or as often as I could have, and I'm guessing everyone who knew and loved her feels exactly the same way. But we got the chance to say all the right stuff to each other before she died, and I'm grateful for that, and I hope it gave her some peace while she struggled with the decision to let go.

So a month passed between her death and the memorial service, and because of that it really didn't hit me until we had everyone together and were all talking about her, you know? Her last remaining brother came up from TX with his family and I had forgotten how much he looks like her--it knocked the wind out of me, actually, because you think you won't see those features again, and then there they are, on someone else, that twinkle and goodwill shining out from brown eyes instead of blue. I also had to sing two pieces in the middle of the service, and that was as hard as you might expect, but we chose them carefully--nothing with so many difficult emotional associations that you can hardly get through it in the best of times, for example--and placed them carefully, before most of the eulogizing. And I don't know what happened--it's not professionalism or anything like that--I can only call it grace because when it was time to stand up and sing and be a conduit for what everyone else was feeling, I just did it, without shutting myself off from the proceedings (this is one way to get through singing at funerals) and without breaking down myself, despite breakdowns before and after the singing.

There was one somewhat uncanny experience that I really couldn't talk about until I was done singing, and I honestly don't know if I've said anything about it yet. One of the songs we chose, Roger Quilter's setting of "Weep You No More, Sad Fountains," was ideal because I hadn't performed it before--so it came with no specific emotional baggage for me--but it was evidently something G had sung quite a lot throughout her career, with R at the piano. R has been my pianist for 15 years now, and we work together much the same way that she worked with G: by listening to each other in the moment, rather than discussing and dissecting and planning out how a thing is going to go. It's good musical chemistry, is what it is.

Anyway, all this is to say that R knew how G used to sing this piece, and so the first time we went through it in rehearsal, I was hearing and feeling in R's playing the old grooves that come from practice and repeat performances with the same person: the flex of the musical line, the subtle shifts in tempo and dynamics, the phrasing were all just as G used to do them. I knew this and could hear it plainly even though we didn't discuss it. And so as I was singing it was as though I had learned the piece from G, or had been coached on it in her studio, or really that she was singing it with my voice, and I had to get a grip right quick and not think about it, or find a way to let go of it so I could let it happen and not be overwhelmed by it. It was a weird experience that repeated itself when it was time to sing in the service too. It was stranger, and more difficult, than singing the other piece--which I did study with G, which was commissioned by her and written for her and dedicated to her and premiered by her, and therefore full of associations of our work together and her singing career.

Well. There's a lot more I could say about our relationship, but suffice it to say that it was one of the most important ones of my life. I am so relieved that she is not suffering anymore, but it's no wonder I've still got a grief hangover.

She was an incredible singer who had already stopped singing by the time I met her (thanks to her first cancer diagnosis and treatment). You can hear some of what made her so remarkable on spotify, though it's just a tiny representation of the breadth of her career, and of her talent.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bits and bobs.

I'm sure I've used that post title before.

 It was 90-something degrees yesterday. There was frost over the weekend. Who else is tired of climate change? When I saw the forecast for Tuesday I ordered an air conditioner in anticipation. Last summer I just sucked it up, but this year I have a very furry beastie living with me and I really don't want to subject her to extreme heat.

 I had a photoshoot on Monday night with a friend who's expanding his photography side biz into headshots. I went in with no plan and a bottle of wine and now there are a lot of terrible shots of me putting my hands in my hair and looking like he just instructed me to do that very thing, and then a bunch of me dancing around like a jackass, and some that look like your friendly realtor who shops at Eileen Fisher (not the look I'm trying to rock, FYI), and one of me in a tight red dress walking like an Egyptian. Plus others that are not so comical. Hopefully we'll be able to locate a couple of useful ones in the midst of all the ridiculousness. It was fun, regardless. Every time I do something like that these days I have this fleeting sense of "this might be the last time I look this good," which I do realize is stupid, and just means I'm sopping up what the world is telling me about being a lady who is getting older.

Anyway, once some good-enough shot has been lightly retouched for public viewing, I will share it here. 

Who has shopped for a new (used) car recently? Am I the only person who is totally overwhelmed by this? I have it narrowed down to like 4 models now and I need to start test-driving but I am scared of dealerships, even the ones with good reviews. I made a conscious decision to kind of stop fixing stuff on my current hoopty because of impending new car purchase, and I need to buy something before that decision backfires all over me. When my car got towed a couple weeks ago the idea of just leaving it at the impound lot did flit through my brain. Haha. For one thing, the AC compressor went out last summer and I just had them disconnect it from the fan. I'm not going to drive an oven again this summer.

I'm also getting a kayak, I've decided. There's a free try-before-you-buy kind of thing happening after work at the next lake over, so I'm going to go to that and then probably just find something on craigslist. An inflatable thing, most likely, so I can throw it in the back of whatever car I eventually buy.

I finally had a diet Dr P today after several days of jonesing, and now I am awash in chemical regret.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Musics.

This video is incredible and the song is incredible. Major, major new artist. You probably didn't hear it here first, but I'm going to say it for the record anyway.


This video is awful, but I love the song. I heard it at Crate and Barrel, which is about right, don't you think?


Hiatus Kaiyote, inscrutable name aside, is another major musical talent. It hits me in the Venn diagram intersection of Bjork, neo-soul, and opera ripoffs.

Now even if you've ignored the rest of the post, just stop whatever you're doing and watch the majesty that is Janelle Monae if you haven't seen this yet.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Vacation all I ever wanted.

This week has presented me with a host of re-entry problems after a VERY FINE long weekend in Chicago. The number one problem is the weather, or the fucking weather, if you want me to get more specific about it. Today is May 3 and it was snowing, SNOWING, when I left the house this morning. On Wednesday we were all in a tizzy because of a predicted 6-9-15 or howevermany inches of snow. SE of here, people were indeed treated to an unwelcome / ridiculous / recordbreaking snow dump that somehow completely missed us. I'm grateful to have been spared but still irritated about the entire thing and am probably still carrying the psychological weight of that forecast. It's May. MAY. It's May, y'all. On Tuesday it was warm! I was wearing a stupendous warm-weather outfit! Sandals! This morning it was 32 F!

I've just completely had it with climate change and the roller coaster it's causing.

Plus, my car was towed on Wednesday. What's worse, I think, is that I happened to stroll by my front window as it was being lifted on the truck, so that I was struck with sudden panic. By the time I ran outside (barefoot, pajama-clad, bed-headed) into the wet 40 degree morning, the truck was down the block and I was impotent to change anything. I didn't rage or cry or break shit, though all would have been perfectly logical reactions. I just heaved a sigh and changed my plans.

So I biked to work where I had a good scone and a terrible day and left early to ride my bike to the impound lot. En route, some jokester jackass pedestrian pretend-jumped in front of my bike with his arms raised and then giggled like he'd done something hilarious and I had to yell "NOT COOL DUDE" in a monster voice, which is just what came out of my mouth involuntarily. We were on an isolated bike/walk path, by the way, and someone jumping at my bike in such a circumstance tops the list of bike-related fears that I don't really let myself contemplate.

I also saw a turkey pacing frantically in front of a fence, like it was looking for a way to get to the other side, and I found the sight really depressing. Poor dumb turkey.

Anyway, people working at the impound lot are really nice, which is surprising when you consider the emotional state of most of the folks retrieving their impounded cars. Once I was home and hot-showered and fed and napping on the couch, the horizon opened up a crack and blazed a suntrail across the lake, so I went out to get some serenity and was rewarded with the sight of four pelicans cruising on the lake and a sunset that got spectacular after the sun was down. Small compensation, but I'll take it. I'd never seen pelicans in the city before, and the next day they were gone.

Work is also chapping my tender hide, but that's nothing new.

So, Chicago. Why don't I go there more often, like at least once a year? It's so dumb. If I'm flying solo I have a place to stay now, and I am perfectly happy just wandering around a city, walking miles and miles until I see an interesting shop or bar to go into. I put a lot of miles on my Fryes over the weekend, man, traversing many neighborhoods on foot. I bought some crazy/stupid (yet versatile/comfortable!) shoes at City Soles, I got a dress and a perfect spring sweater at a resale shop, I petted some Fluevogs, I bought some great prints at a gallery (where we'd randomly stopped off and witnessed the premiere of the shortest of short animations the first night in town) and had them shipped to me like a fancy lady. We went into some truly grotty thrift stores. We had MANY a delicious cocktail. I ate unreal vegan meats, finally knocking the Chicago Diner off my list (thrice, actually). I howled and wept with laughter; I both chatted flippantly and went deep with my friends. We saw the goddamn Lemonheads in concert at Lincoln Hall. The Lemonheads, y'all! Evan Dando! Sassy magazine's favorite boyfriend of like 1991! The concert was one of those spontaneous decisions that turns out to be The Perfect Thing. We had beers and bounced along in a great, unexpected 90s reverie and we ate burritos at 11:30 PM and went home early like old people.

I connected with a bunch of ladies I love. I packed almost perfectly (note to self: you can always use one more pair of lounge pants on vacation). I had easy airport experiences. We had a great airbnb rental. It was just good. Good good good. Vacation. It's good for you. It'll be awhile before I can take another but I'm going to work on more long weekends doing fun stuff in the future.

Meanwhile, Winnie was home hissing at my lovely, dedicated catsitters, which is a little sad. But she was psychologically undamaged and beside herself with joy when I got home, which made me feel irreplaceable. It was still warm at that point, so I opened all the windows and delighted in watching her lose her shit racing from window to window to SNIFF ALL THE THINGS. And of course, she is a cozy buddy when it is cold and shitty outside.

Good weather's coming back next week. Hopefully my attitude will return with it. Happy weekending, y'all.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

30 days of biking update.

So, I don't know if you follow Minneapolis weather, but it has been complete bullshit this April. We have had two major snowstorms, the most recent of which was a mere two days ago, and it dumped 5 or 6 inches on us overnight. What's so offensive about it, beside the fact of major snow in April, is that you spend valuable time shoveling or scooping snow off your car in the morning, and then by evening it's practically gone, like it never happened, like your morning commute didn't suck.

Needless to say, snowstorms are a major mellow harsh when it comes to biking pledges. I was so demoralized by the first one that I publicly confessed to facebook that I had fallen off the bike pledge wagon. It happened last Thursday. A close friend/family member died on Monday night (about which more later), and I had a concert midday on Thursday that more or less commemorated her work (coincidental scheduling), and I just had to get through it. By the time the concert was done it was snowing heavily and I had a very real and deep feeling of Fuck It. So that was that.

Then I had some days of phoning it in. Short rides, bogus rides. Then I skipped Sunday due to busy day/late night/tipsyness. Then I skipped Monday, I think, because again: major snowstorm. But I'm back. I think we're done with snow. I think it's over. I rode to buy cat food yesterday and saw a great blue heron standing in the creek along the way, so close I could see its long chest feathers fluttering in the breeze. Today I rode to work again, after several days of not being able to. Damn this April, I say. This April has been so, so shitty, with record low temperatures and just general terribleness. I have had it.

Right now I'm waiting on the sunset and am going to go bounding across the street to take pictures in a few minutes. My hammer pants of a few posts ago arrived in the mail this week and they look TERRIBLE on me, so I'm back to the drawing board on that style concept, but I'm currently wearing them anyway. Two dear friends of mine are moving far, far away and I've had two melancholy/fun farewells with them. I thought I had another chance to say goodbye Friday, but guess what? I am going on a wee vacation on Friday! Going to Chicago to convene with some ladies and see what we see. I am excited! But the question, as ever, is WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR? Not hammer pants, I guess. Apparently, it's going to be 70 F in Minneapolis this weekend, so naturally I am going to miss it. But at least I know it's coming, like the rest of spring.

Henry turned 11!!! yesterday! and I gave him a ukulele, which he figured out how to play in about 10 minutes, and then we were jamming on some song by fun. that I don't actually know. So gratifying to give a gift that's a huge hit. Plus the instrument is adorable--I got him a soprano Lanikai starter instrument (not a toy, in other words) and I squeed when I opened the shipping box. I might have to get one for myself. Later in the evening I was trying to figure out the chords to Old Man River and astonishing/cracking up my sister Em by knowing and singing all the words. It turned into a weird party pretty fast. But my best ukulele accomplishment is still "I Will Survive." It sounds as hilarious as you imagine.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Critter report.

I have seen a lot of wildlife while tootling around on my bike during this craptastic month (you have two weeks to turn it around, April. I have my eye on you). For one thing, there is a wee flock of turkeys hanging around by the river road, walking and hopping around prehistorically, displaying their full fanned out tails (the dude turkey, anyway), and serenely disrupting traffic. They actually walked right up to the window next to my staff meeting a week or two ago, fixing us with their dinosaur eyes.

So that's fun. I had my first heron sighting last Tuesday, but I was in the car at the time. Still, my heart skipped a beat. I love seeing them; I don't know why. Don't be surprised if I show up with a heron tattoo one of these days. Anyway, I'd been watching for their return and hoping to see them on the lake rather than just flying over the highway. I finally caught up with one on last night's late, dark, cold, wonderful ride. It was standing at the water's edge, hunched up and sleeping. I spied on it from the footbridge. Next to the heron, two beavers cruised around in the open water and one slapped a warning at me. They waddled up to the shore and chattered, or maybe scolded me.

The night before last, I saw two foxes romping in the snow next to the next lake over, which was as magical as it sounds. One thing I will say for the (stupid, relentless) snow and (depressing) overcast sky: it is very easy to glimpse the critters silhouetted against them. And then I feel uplifted, and unconcerned about the weather, at least for a half hour or so. Lone geese honk gently in the dark. The ducks quack in the creek, like cartoon ducks, or parodies of ducks. Little by little, the water overtakes the ice.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The report on 30 Days of Biking

As you may or may not know, the weather here in MN has been bullshit this week. I have also had some days where I had to drive to work because of scheduling and travel time issues, negating my ace in the hole for 30 Days of Biking, the work commute.

So three days in a row I found myself at the ass end of the day without having gotten on my bike, while coincidentally it was a) dark b) precipitating somehow, either snowing, raining, ice pelleting, or threatening to do one or more of these and c) cold, duh.

On two of those days I did an enormous amount of sucking it up and rode around the lake, which is a pretty quick 4 miles and normally a very nice recreational ride. Last night I fully intended to observe the letter of the 30 day pledge but not the spirit by taking a cruise around the block at 10 PM. But, and this will be familiar to those of you who love to ride bikes, pretty much as soon as my butt was in the saddle I was like WHEEE I FEEEL LIKE MEEEEE.

I will paint the picture: yesterday, what with the THUNDERSNOW and the above-freezing temps, we wound up with several inches of slush on the ground by the end of the day. I was wearing knee high socks, short pants, and loud spring green wellies. It was dark, but the kind of overcast dark that traps a lot of light between the clouds and the asphalt (and snow). Wet slop was falling out of the sky and off the trees. Wee ice pellet-y bits slanted directly at my eyeballs. But I took off up the creek trail and was pleased to see that there was a tire track from some other intrepid Minnesotan, and instead of phoning it in for a block I stayed  out for 10 or 15 minutes.

I wasn't dressed for it or in the mood for it or anything, but as soon as I'm pedaling I am like a little furnace chugging around the neighborhood. Late at night, it is quiet and the potential for solitude is high. And all three of these late, don't-wanna-go rides have been great. And I wouldn't have gone on any of them if not for the 30 day pledge, so huzzah for the pledge, I say.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I bought these cuckoo pants on etsy.


From this shop.

And yes I'm going to walk around holding the non-functional corners out like that.

In other news, it fucking snowed 5-6 inches last night and there was fucking THUNDERSNOW and it's still fucking snowing.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

My most important makeup tip so far.

Eyeshadow primer sounds like a completely bullshit thing designed to just make you buy more stuff and maybe that's partly true, but it turns out that using primer makes even cheap-ass eyeshadow wear better and stay blended and vivid all day. It is especially key if you are a greasy human, such that even your eyelids are oily (this is how I roll). You may have noticed that eyelid oil makes shadow collect in your crease and look bad. Primer solves this problem.

I've been using an inexpensive one by NYX, which is incidentally my favorite cheap makeup brand, available primarily at Ulta (and NYX is 40% off right now, so seriously, just get some). But if you don't have an Ulta around/don't want to buy makeup online and you want to be even less committal, e.l.f. makes one too and you can get it for like a dollar at Target. Does it work? Buy one and tell me.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Sunday night dread.

I'm trying to stave off the above, as I often do, with food prep. If I have things chopped and cooked and ready to eat for Monday, going back to work doesn't seem nearly as grim, and I just manage my week better. I'm not doing anything fancy: steaming some cubed sweet potatoes and some broccoli, cooking up some black eyed peas, whipping together some lemon-tahini-miso sauce for veggies. I have some elderly kale that needs to be sauteed or something, and I'm making some chickpea pancakes for tomorrow's breakfast, though I might just end up eating them for dinner. Hell, I'm going to eat one now.

I took the 30 Days of Biking pledge, which is basically exactly what it sounds like: you sign a pledge to ride your bike every day in April. It's not about logging big miles, it's about getting your ass in the saddle and riding! I doubt I'm going to join in with any events or anything--I have always been happier flying solo--but the pledge does mean that on busy Tuesday when I had to be all over the place in my car, I took a cold late-night ride just to get a mile in before bed, and it also means that I put my head down and rode through some ridiculous weather on Friday. Friday morning was okay, but by the time it was kosher to leave work, diagonal snow/ice/rain pellets were stabbing us all in the face! I truly did LOLLLL at several points during the ride because it was so appalling; what else could you do? And I kept myself going with literally 20 minutes of terrible, halting, freestyle rapping, which is surprisingly a first for me. I usually make up songs. Sometimes they are just, like, the words "sucka fool" repeated over and over, but the melodies are always interesting.

Despite the fact that this fucking weather cannot make up its mind and it's actually super annoying to commute to work when the evening ride is 20-30 degrees warmer (and requires different layers) than the morning commute, this first week has been good for me. I got a rusty nail in my back tire like 3 weeks ago and then it snowed and got very cold again, and I was just too demoralized to ride for about a week and a half. I mean, I'm ready for sandals, giant floaty pants, and wee shirts with interesting sleeves, yo! I've put my wool away! Fie! So it was good to have to adjust my brain to the fact that I am just riding every day no matter what the weather is doing. Except I am going to be in Chicago for a couple days at the end of the month, and if I don't manage to find a bike to ride for the two full days I'm there, I'm not going to sweat it. Tiny vacations are much more important than foolish consistency (which is the hobgoblin of little minds, as I'm sure you know).

My scalp is recovering from my latest root touch-up, which might be my last for awhile. I'm ready to try something else. I love the white hair--it's the most me-feeling hairdo I've had, I think--but once my roots are grown out I'm going full Sinead. (If you don't get the reference you are either incredibly behind on pop culture OR too young to be reading this blog.) Stay tuned. It'll be June, probably. Just in time for me to go back to music camp for a month and be the freshest mofo in the place. I'm thinking the hairdo will go well with my recent eyeshadow obsession.

Speaking of music (sort of), I finally got Beck's Song Reader and it is beautiful, I mean as an object. They went full-on with the aesthetic of old sheet music and the advertising and just everything. I'm reading my way through the songs a bit at a time on the uke--a couple of the songs even have ukulele chords attached to them--and one of these days I'll take them to the piano too. I told my nephew Henry about it and suggested that maybe we could do one of them together, with Jude too, and he thought that was a cool idea. Once you tell a kid about something you really have to do it or you are a huge asshole. So there are some multigenerational jams in our future, which we may or may not record for posterity.

Winnie Blondeen continues to unfurl her personality in increments. I may have bragged too much about what a perfect bedfellow she was, sleeping so peacefully on a pillow by my head until the alarm actually went off. Now she seems to have remembered that she is a cat and that sleeping all night is totally bogus, so I've had to chuck her out of the room at 5:30 AM the past week or so. Also, after charming me with her silent meow initially, she has become very audibly chatty, which is also totally charming, albeit less so when it is 5:30 AM and I am trying to stay asleep. And also also, after completely ignoring the bathroom for four months, she has developed a love of destroying and munching on toilet paper. So, it's a relationship that continues to develop. I hope one day she will be more accepting of guests in our home, but if you come over you can expect a hiss and a whack and then she will stay nearby to monitor the situation. I have to admire a girl who sets her boundaries so explicitly.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Quarterly check-in.

I keep trying to write a post to let the internet know I'm still alive. But guess what, the internet doesn't give a shit! I'm all up in the internet anyway, on tumblr and facebook mostly, so I really feel like I never left. It's just that it's been 3 months since I popped up here in this particular corner. In that stretch of time we've done winter holidays and a couple of grody illnesses and one spectacular hangover, plus, I don't know, 15-20 at home manicures, just gallons of homemade soup and tea, and some very welcome craiglist sales and purchases. Also, I bought a giant-ass TV and I used it to watch several seasons of of Xena: Warrior Princess and then all of Alias and all of The West Wing (while embroidering, building giant pieces of IKEA furniture, doing yoga/situps/pushups, strumming the ukulele, or let's face it, just sitting on the damn couch). The unintentional theme recently has been: A Crap-Ton of Me Time.

It's been a winter of hunkering down and being very very cozy (and also bike rides, but they are what help me cope with what's going on outdoors). A lot of the hunkering/coziness was due to the cat buddy who follows me from room to room, sleeps next to my head, brings all her mousie toys* into my room at night, and peers at me from behind some small obstacle (say, a shoe) when she wants to be starting something. She has been an almost perfect sidekick: she likes to stick around and supervise what I'm doing, but doesn't need every last little bit of my love at all times. It's really easy to hang out at home when you have the softest, fluffiest beastie to hang out with you.

*She now also has a herpes toy and a syphilis toy, both of which I won during the Pro-Choice Resources bowl-a-thon, which was last week. I raised $1620! and now I can be like "my cat brought me her syphilis" or "my cat dropped herpes on my rug."

My plan for the spring, whenever it arrives, is to get out more. Now that there's more light I might even try this thing where I do stuff in the evenings, instead of watching the telly.

For one thing, I need occasions to wear a lot of eyeshadow. Sometime in the last several months I decided to start getting into makeup, like as a fun thing, not a daily necessity. (Today, for example, my face is nekkid, though having typed that I am going to have to dig in my purse for one of the 15-20 [true story] lip products I carry around on the daily, and apply some. I like to keep my lips buttered, regardless of what I have or have not applied to the rest of my face. I would say that I pick up a new lippy thing every few weeks. On the scale of small purchases that make you inordinately happy, I rate lip products an 11.)

Anyway, suddenly I am a person with eyeshadow palettes, and I don't think I'm done buying them, even though it will clearly take me years to get through the eyeshadow I have.

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I'm just in the mood to buy makeup--do you go through these acquisitional phases? Like right now I am so uninterested in buying clothes; it sounds like the worst errand, even though all of my clothes are boring, and I have been a boring dresser for months. But makeups! bring them on!! I am allowing myself to be taken in by packaging and marketing!!! (but I still consult beautypedia.com for product reviews before every purchase!!) If I want to buy some makeup in the middle of a workday, I can go kitty-corner to the CVS and stare at the Revlon display and nab some Katy Perry fake lashes. I'm pinning products and cuckoo eye makeup configurations on pinterest. I want someone to give me a full Kardashian kontour face, for no reason! I can even somewhat imagine following makeup blogs, except that there aren't any that I can stand apart from Stuff I Put On Myself, which is awesome even if you are not a very pale white chick (I myself am just sort of medium pale). If you like any makeuppy blogs, let me know.

Also let me know if you super-love your hatchback (or other car, I suppose, but I really feel that in my soul I am a hatchback person and I truly miss Fatty, my little old station wagon). Soon enough, it will be time to replace my car, and then I won't be able to afford to replace anything else for ages. Just help spare me some of the research and endless cruising for the perfect used car, and keep in mind that I really want to spend less than $15K. I haven't had a car payment in 10 years, so I'm not looking forward to that.

Okay, really just saying hi. Winnie says hi too.

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